PhD in Sociocultural Anthropology
My research is concerned with multiple transnational flows: human rights, the queer rights movement, and the national and transnational movements of people in and out of Hong Kong. During fourteen months of fieldwork in Hong Kong, I worked with queer rights organizations as they fought for legislation that would change how transgender people changed their legal gender, a comprehensive anti-discrimination ordinance, and recognition of same-sex relationships. I found that activists and their corresponding organizations had been self-defined as either "local" and "gwailou" (foreign or Western), which was reflected in and by their approaches to queer activism. These emic categories were not clearly delineated by place of origin, but by complicated assemblages of race, class, linguistic ability, and activist strategy.
I am broadly interested in legal anthropology and the anthropology of human rights. I am a lawyer by training (University of Minnesota, 2011) with a specialization in international human rights law. I have also worked as a queer activist in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and as a student-attorney on numerous human rights cases appearing before various courts and legal bodies. I have written on Chinese law, and my articles on HIV/AIDS activism and the use of international human rights law to advocate for LGBT peoples have been published by National Lawyers Guild Review. I am also interested in linguistic anthropology, language ideologies, and sexuality and gender studies.